Day At The Track

D P Rocket, Ricky Be Sharp top Iowa Trot Finals

06:08 AM 25 Sep 2019 NZST
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D P Rocket, harness racing Ricky Be Sharp, harness racing
D P Rocket and Adam Hauser take the 3YO Filly Trot Championship
Gretchen Roland photo
Driver Nick Roland and Ricky Be Sharp take the lead from Cracker Box and Royal Roland in the final turn
Gretchen Roland photo

What Cheer, IA -- The top ten 3-year-old trotters took to the harness racing track yesterday (September 23) to complete in the 2019 Iowa-Registered Championship races at the Keokuk County Fairgrounds.

There were five starters in the $15,000 Gary McKay Memorial 3-year-old Iowa-Registered Filly Trot Championship.

Last year's Championship winner Bankn-On-Emily (Macduffie-Emily Lavictorie) drew the rail, followed by Eighty's Mercedes (Clocked At Eighty-Reigning Image), D P Rocket (All In Tad-Striking Annie), All Taylor Made (And Away We Go- Strong Sue), and 2019 points leader CR Blaze (Amigo Ranger-JL Jan) on the outside.

"She finally drew the three hole, Fred (Wagner) was so excited." said trainer and driver Adam Hauser of D P Rocket's owner. "She's drawn the four or five hole in five of her six last starts, and that's a big deal in a five horse race. "

Four of the five starters had posted wins in the month preceding the race, with decisive victories from the Huffman Stable's CR Blaze in a 14+ length win, and the Shipley Stable's Bankn-On-Emily in a 10+ win two weeks ago. D P Rocket had clocked the fastest mile, 2:00.4, at Humboldt earlier this year.

Driven by Adam Hauser, D P Rocket fired off the gate to take the early lead with Gary Liles' All Taylor Made filing in quickly behind. Rob Anderson and CR Blaze challenged the early leader, but were unable to clear and settled into third. D P Rocket passed the quarter in 29.2.

"She's a good gate horse," said Hasuer. "I was able to get her out of there trotting. When I get her through the first turn, I know how she is right away. She was good yesterday."

CR Blaze tipped out again and captured second by the half, where D P Rocket maintained the lead in 1:01.1. D P Rocket began to pull away from the field in the final backstretch passing the three-quarters in 1:30.1, while All Taylor Made continued to park CR Blaze.

D P Rocket cruised around the final turn and powered home in a 2:00.4 mile, tying her lifetime mark. CR Blaze was second, followed by Eighty's Mercedes, All Taylor Made, and Bankn-On-Emily.

D P Rocket is owned by Fred Wagner of Wellman, Iowa. She was bred by David P. Brontrager and is by his Iowa sire All In Tad, a son of Conway Hall, and out of the Striking Sahbra mare Striking Annie. Adam Hauser trains D P Rocket at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds.

"We've talked to a few people about selling her," said Hauser, "But we don't have anything serious yet."

Being a non-winners of one horse, Hauser and Wagner have plans to give her a rest, then race her and Hawthorne or Aces next year if they don't sell her.

The top five colts all drew on the gate in the $15,000 Kermit and Janet Hinshaw Memorial 3-year-old Iowa-Registered Colt Trot Championship. Kick Away (Weight LIfter - Sorority Hall) drew the rail, followed by Depth Charge (Motorcade - Warawee Fourleaf), Spiced Honey (Honeydont Hanover - Dynomo Sahbra), Cracker Box (Honeydont Hanover - Button Box), and 2018 finals winner and 2-year-old trotting colt champion Ricky Be Sharp (American Native - Cosmetize) on the outside.

All five of the starters are Iowa-sired. The Gary Liles Stable came into the race off of two wins from both Cracker Box and Depth Charge last week. Cracker Box, winning four of his past five starts, had the most recent wins. Ricky Be Sharp had posted the fastest 3-year-old trot of 2019 with a 2:00 mile at What Cheer earlier in the season.

Cracker Box, driven by Royal Roland, and stablemate Depth Charge, driven by Gary Liles took the early lead with Cracker Box clearing to take the top. The field past the quarter in 31.2 single file, with Cracker Box and Depth Charge followed by Spiced Honey, Kick Away and Ricky Be Sharp.

"He didn't want to leave, so we ducked to last," said Roland.

Driver Nick Roland tipped out Ricky Be Sharp the first time past the grandstand where Cracker Box continued to lead, passing the half in 1:02.4. Ricky Be Sharp worked his way up to second and met Cracker Box at the three-quarters in 1:32.3.

"We were all strung out so I pulled him first-over, and he was good enough to go past them," said Roland. "He cleared then trotted on in the final stretch."

Ricky Be Sharp continued his momentum and cleared and powered home in 2:03.1. Cracker Box and Depth Charge were second and third, followed by Kick Away and Spiced Honey.

Ricky Be Sharp is owned and trained by Lorenza Gooch of Missouri City Texas. He was bred and raised by Rick & Lesa Peters of Face Pace Farms in Grinnell, Iowa. Ricky Be Sharp is by the late American Native, a 1:54.2 son of American Winner, and out of the Valley Victor mare Cosmetize.

From Gretchen L. Roland, for the Iowa Harness Horse Association

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